Thursday

BOM 10 - Twenty-One

Collection 10
Yikes! I just realised that tonight is the night I need to upload my next free BOM and I haven't done it yet. I had planned to get ahead with this as I am due to go into hospital tomorrow for an arthroscope to clean up a bit of torn cartilage in my knee. I had been having a lot of pain with it for ages but the doc couldn't find out what it was. At the same time it was collapsing now and then but I didn't think the two things were related.
Paul says I am very much like a guy as far as medical things are concerned... don't worry and hope the problem will go away. He says it's like a tornado hit the room when I go into the doc's with the speed I try to get out of the place:)
Anyway the Xray showed nothing and an ultrasound also showed nothing. Darling Paul suggested that perhaps I should mention the collapsing of the knee and viola off to see orthopaedic surgeon... MRI later and problem found. Tornado in and out tomorrow...thankfully only day surgery.
But back onto this month's BOM. This block is called Twenty-One, which you may think was named because there are 21 pieces of feature fabric. Sorry that's not the case. It was named Twenty-One because that was what popped into my head at the time. Until just now I had never counted how many pieces were in the block. This block will be tricky due to the large number of pieces but take it slowly and carefully and I am sure you will find it turns out beautifully.

Wednesday

Collection Winner

I know this is late but I really haven't been on the ball lately. Paul did a draw  on 15th October, as promised, and the winner of another collection is Georgina Karo who has selected Collection 60 for her prize. Yes there is a collection 60 but I haven't finished writing it up and Georgina wanted a surprise. When I finish writing it up I will post it and a photo here.
Congratulations to Georgina and good luck to everyone when we have our net draw.. most likely for Xmas, but I am still to work out the details.

Tuesday

How to Make Freezer Paper Templates

I have received a couple of emails since my previous post asking about the use of template plastic and benefits of that over freezer paper for drawing the templates.
I wish I had kept those templates just so I could show you how small and insane they were. 
I had never heard of using freezer paper for templates when I began this quilt and it was only after talking with Margaret McCaughey that I learnt of it.  It made my task so much easier ... and for you it is easier still if you print your templates onto the freezer paper, rather than draw them.
Yes you can reuse the template plastic templates...if you can find them and so many are almost identical that it is hard to tell them apart. It was only after I had done about 100 blocks that I could usually tell the difference between two very similar templates. 
The next disadvantage was trying to cut the plastic accurately with such small pieces.
Freezer paper is so much easier as you are able to iron it to the fabric and then trace around the pieces without the fear that either one will slip.
If you have never tried printing on freezer paper it is a top technique if you follow a few simple steps.
  1. Cut the freezer paper just a smidgin smaller than an A4 sheet of paper.
  2. Iron the freezer paper to a blank piece of paper just along the top and the bottom edges.
  3. You need to find out if your printer prints on the top side of paper in the tray or on the lower side. Write top/upper side on one side of a piece of paper and lower side on the other side. Place this sheet of paper into your printer tray with the 'top/upper side' facing upwards. Print something on the paper.
    you now know which side your printer prints on. 
  4. Place the freezer paper+blank paper into your printer laying the correct way so that it will be printed on.
  5. Print as normal.
  6. Give it a go.. it will be a lot quicker than drawing.
One thing to take care of however is that you don't transfer ink from the freezer paper to your iron or fabric. Always place a piece of scrap fabric between the printed freezer paper and your iron.

Sunday

Starting your Journey - Organisation

Well I realise I really should have posted this information several months ago but honestly I never thought of it.

When I first started I did the blocks one by one. Designed it, traced the templates onto template plastic, cut fabric and then sewed it. Then did the same for the second block etc. 

After a few weeks, I found that it was best to get ahead with cutting. From then I went with what I felt like doing. 

Most weekends I cut the fabric, when I was stressed I designed, (designing is really just drawing lines and colouring in) and when I wanted to relax I sewed. It worked well.

The smallest zip lock bags were perfect for storing the cut fabrics. I would place several blocks into the same bag along with the picture of the design. Once I thought I didn't need to include the design as I was feeling too lazy to draw it out again. Remember when I started this project I drew EVERYTHING by hand. I drew the original design on some graph paper, then onto template plastic (yes I did start with template plastic)...... anyway as you may guess it was next to impossible to work out which design belonged to which fabric. Thankfully I only had a few blocks in that bag and knew they had come from one of two design sheets.



Saturday

Scatterday K

And to brighten up your next few days how about we find items beginning with the letter K, but to make it more fun they need to be in the categories
# in your neighbourhood
# edible
# container
# and from the sewing room something king size
Posting date is 9th November.

Thursday

Carol is speeding along

C34  Through the Roses
Well didn't Carol pick the perfect fabrics. Her green path represents the path that always meanders through the old fashioned rose gardens found in many traditional city parks. Wollongong, which is near where we live has the most gorgeous selection of roses and they are beautifully maintained.

I have always loved roses and once they were even well maintained and were the envy of others living in the area. 

This may have been perhaps due to the fact that I lived across the road from a college which had a horticulture section and they were more than happy to bring their students across the street to practise on my garden and I was more than happy to let them do as they pleased.. I am a quilter not a gardner.
Doesn't everyone dream of being a star?

It doesn't need to be in singing or theatre. It can be in anything you want to try.

My mother tried to teach me that but it took me many years to understand. Follow your heart and you will shine like a star.

C34 Follow Your Heart

C34  Blue Moon
When my delightful mother-in-law passed away she left her piano to my husband. Although he had never played any instrument beforehand he thought he should learn because of this gift. Paul doesn't like classes and so set out to teach himself. The beginning was painful as he is one of those people who would be an ideal student... he always does/did his daily practise.... over and over and over.
With time he improved. It is true practice does make perfect  and now he plays most days for enjoyment both his and mine.
Blue Moon was written in 1934 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. It was sung by many singers through the years including, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra.
This is one of the many songs Paul enjoys playing

Tuesday

Georgina's First Block & Photographing your Blocks

C2 Cafe Creme

WOW well what do you think of Georgina's first block? Isn't it great?

Funny isn't it she chose one of the first blocks that I made when I started on my Raconteur journey. She said that two of the pieces kept turning themselves around and so needed to be unpicked and resewn a couple of times but can you tell which ones they were? Neither can I. Looking forward to seeing her next block.

I really don't know why people appear frightened to send me photos of their blocks but it must be due to my threat that I will upload them to my blog. Now let's be honest are my photoshop skills that bad:( Personally I think they have improved out of sight compared to what I was like when poor Carol had to send me more than one copy of her photos. Nowadays I can manage quite a decent cropping and watermarking on most photos.

Admittedly the photos that you send are really good and so they come up beautifully.... just remember though send photos of individual blocks and collections, as that gives me a better chance of cropping and watermarking and leaves me room to play. My skills do still have room for improvement. Low resolution, with only a few Mbs, leave me very little chance to compensate for any errors I make. Also please take the photos either standing directly over the block or with the block held directly in front of you. It is easier for me if the photo/block is straight on rather than at an angle as I don't know how to compensate for angled photos.... one day I hope to learn how but not this year.

Friday

Almost There with Carol

Two more blocks from Carol and both of these were blocks I really liked.

To Russia With Love was one of the few asymmetrical blocks that I made. It was made at a time when I wanted something that didn't evolve from another block, nor would it lead to another design.

I made a few blocks like this which started in one corner and then evolved as they did. They were harder to balance in their appearance. Or perhaps it was just that I was used to seeing the designs repeat either six or three times around the middle.
C31 To Russia With Love

C31 Lady Liberty

Lady Liberty was made while on a holiday. Our youngest son had recently started studying for his doctorate in the US and my husband found a cruise special which happened to stop twice in Boston, Ma which is where Richard was studying. The cruise started in New York where of course we saw The Statue of Liberty.. the lady of course.

Although To Russia with Love looks nothing like the hammer and sickle of the Russian flag that was what it reminded me of... everyone has their own way of looking at things.

Saturday

Scatterday P

Well what do you think of the art work. I would have given credit but I can't find where I took it from.
categories this week are
# Furniture
# Books
# Animal
# PIG in your sewing room

posting date 26th October

Thursday

Trying to Catch Up

C30 History Repeats
Carol has been really busy lately, in between what must seem like three thousand family commitments and MANY MANY miles in the car. However she has managed to put together some more lovely blocks and here are just a few of them. Being back at work means I am slower with photoshopping and uploading them but hopefully I will catch up this weekend.
C30 Stories Entwined
These three blocks come from Collection 30. It won't be long before she is actually joining them all and making her own quilt... 
Oh I had better get going on drawing up the designs for Collection 60. Although there were only 59 collections in the original quilt an alternative king size layout needs 62 and I have promised Carol to send her any new blocks I designed so that she could incorporate them into her quilt.
C30 Winter Grass
Where did these names come from?

History Repeats was made after a series of things going wrong...over and over again... you would think I would have learnt from the first mistake :(

Stories Entwined I felt that the separate sections looked as thought they had taken something from the sections beside and so they were entwined together

The fabrics used in Winter Grass suggested that title. 

Sunday

Carol's favourite method

C31 Floating Star
Well did you find the cat's eyes in the previous post of Carol's blocks? The smile was worth the search.



Another two blocks from Carol.... I hope to catch up with her photos soon but I am having difficulties with photoshop :(


C35 No Way Out
Now although I am positive that Carol pieced these using English Paper Piecing I wish to tell you all that it is possible to do this with regular piecing. Yes those little hexagons in No Way Out are tiny... very tiny .. maximum of 1/4in along the edges but I find EPP such a painful method so thought I would see if they could be pieced in the normal way. Admittedly it did take a few seams to get the hang of it but after that it was full steam ahead and I am sure this was one of those little blocks that only took about four or five hours to make. Yes somedays I am warped but I do have perseverance.

Oh for anyone wanting a tutorial for EPP you can't go past Sue Daley's you tube tutorials although she does demonstrate with larger pieces than those of Raconteur. 


With really tiny pieces I have found that a drop of glue to hold the paper into place while tacking the seam allowance down makes the task so much easier. Also as the pieces are so tiny I find that Roxanne's glue is the best as it comes in a bottle with a fine syringe like tip. I have been told that Elmer's school glue is just as good and a lot cheaper ..and is even available in Australia in Officeworks. However I don't know of another source for the bottles with the fine tips. 

Wednesday

Collection 9 - Where Did That Name Come From?

Collection 9 - moving along the second row of the quilt..only a few more rows to go:)

The origins of Sports Day was in my previous post
C9 Sports Day

Childish Tube - do you remember that old tractor tyre that you would take to the local swimming hole. Everyone would hang onto it or then you would play King of the Castle and see who could stay on the longest. Wrapping your legs as tight as possible around the tube was your only chance of staying on.
C9 Childish Tube

Accepted Few is a reminder of the nastiness of schools and the groups, who is in and who is not. School isn't always a happy place for one and all.
C9 Rabbits in the Light

Rabbits in the Light  yes I was a country kid and we did go rabbit hunting. When I was a child it was to provide food on the table and the way my mum prepared it was the best. Nothing as sweet as memories of childhood favourites.
C9 Accepted Few

Denali is a mountain in Alaska and although it is quite high the day we visited there was so much cloud cover that all that could be seen were a couple of smallish hills
C9 Portrait Pain

Portrait Pain we have all been there ..school photos.. stand straight look this way smile now..you all know the routine... My eldest always hated them and although he had the money to pay for the photos he would regularly skip out, particularly at high school. I think I only have two photos of him while there.
C9 Denali

When Two are One was made to represent how two people in love can develop as one each making the other complete.
C9 When Two are One

Tuesday

Completing Your Collection



 Well it is now time for people to start to join their blocks together and make their first complete collection. If you joined us late with the BOM don't worry this link will be available for whenever you need it. If you have finished your first seven BOMs then you will find the link for finishing the individual collections on the right hand side. Included are the templates for both the original size and the enlarged Raconteur 141 size.

Revised instructions for completing layouts, large wallhanging and bed size quilts, will be emailed at no cost to everyone who has purchased seven or more collections later this month. These instructions include templates and in-depth directions on combining the collections using QAYG, as well as the original quilting design in both sizes. 

This pattern will be available for purchase from the website from November for people who may wish to buy it, but note it is included at no cost in ALL layout purchases or when people have purchased seven collections.